Providing leadership during tough times

The test of a great leader is when things are tough. Anybody can lead especially when there is no problem. The need for a leader comes when the business is collapsing, people are not happy or the organization is under threat due to legal battles. Carlos Ghosn was nicknamed Mr. Fixer after spearheading the turnaround of Nissan from its near-bankruptcy in 1999. By the early 2000s, the company had emerged from the crisis. Overcoming challenges is what makes one become a leader. When you hear or read about Nelson Mandela’s name that has been written in world history, it is because he demonstrated leadership at a time no one was providing it. There was a leadership vacuum. The same applies to the story of Moses in the Bible.

From history and biblical teachings, leadership is present when there is a challenge to overcome. During such times when people are helpless and do not know what to do or where to go for help. Likewise in the management functions of organizations and businesses.

You need a leader to provide a sense of purpose, a direction, and a strategy to overcome challenges or tap into opportunities. If you have an abundance of everything you need, the strategy may not be needed. After all, a strategy requires you to solve challenges e.g scarcity, pandemics, etc. During the coronavirus pandemic specifically in 2020 and 2021, some countries asked what is the most important issue that must continue despite the pandemic challenges. Some said children must go ahead with their studies. They set up digital capabilities for education to continue as normal countrywide. And those who could not decide to keep schools open subject to SOPs. As a leader, you see what is most important and provide leadership to see it continue or be available. Challenges like accidents, pandemics, etc are here to kill or destroy business value. People who provide the right guidance to overcome such challenges become leaders. As they say, you do not need a title to lead.

In a nutshell,

To create and sustain value, ask yourself; what are the most compelling objectives to deliver on? Once you get to understand them, you immediately redirect resources in terms of financial, manpower to actualize those areas that are very important. That way, you will have created and sustained value.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr. Strategy 2021. All rights reserved

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